Indie Film Release Guide: May 10th [An ONTD Original]

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After a lull in new releases from major studios thanks to Endgame, they are back at it again this week. WB releases Detective Pikachu, while MGM releases the Anne Hathaway/Rebel Wilson starring comedy The Hustle. But there are plenty of indies coming to theaters as well, with several documentaries making their debuts this week.

The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia and Disney. Note that some of the movies listed are in their first week or two of limited release in the USA, so it may take them a few more weeks (or months) to show up in your local arthouse theater or on VOD. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have just opened near you: May 3rd, April 26th, and April 19th.


Tolkien



Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Patrick Gibson, Anthony Boyle
Writer: David Gleeson, Stephen Beresford
Director: Dome Karukoski
Genre: Biography, Drama, War
Plot: Explores the formative years of the orphaned author J.R.R. Tolkien as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.
What you should know: This is Finnish director Dome Karukoski’s first English language film.
Opens in: Wide



The Biggest Little Farm



Director: John Chester
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: When the barking of their beloved dog leads to an eviction notice from their tiny LA apartment, John and Molly Chester make a choice that takes them out of the city and onto 200 acres in the foothills of Ventura County, naively endeavoring to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature.
What you should know: The film premiered at TIFF 2018.
Opens in: Select cities


Poms



Stars: Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman
Writer: Shane Atkinson, Zara Hayes
Director: Zara Hayes
Genre: Comedy
Plot: A woman moves into a retirement home and starts a cheerleading squad with her fellow residents.
What you should know: Comes from the same producer as Book Club.
Opens in: Wide


Pasolini



Stars: Willem Dafoe, Ninetto Davoli, Riccardo Scamarcio, Valerio Mastandrea
Writer: Maurizio Braucci, Abel Ferrara
Director: Abel Ferrara
Genre: Biography, Drama
Plot: The Roman life and the imaginary worlds of Pier Paolo Pasolini intermingle in a retelling of the final days in the life of the fifty-year-old filmmaker and writer, in a lovely, haunting film that draws on his last interview and envisages scenes from an unmade final film and his incomplete novel, Petrolio.
What you should know: Premiered on the festival circuit in 2014, but hasn’t found a US distributor until now.
Opens in: Select cities


General Magic



Director: Sarah Kerruish, Matt Maude
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: Launching the first smartphone before 3G and Google even existed, General Magic is the company you've never heard who changed the world as we know it. Comprised of members of the original Mac team and the creators of iPhone, Android and eBay, this is the story of one of history's most talented teams and what happens when those who dream big, fail, fail again, fail better and ultimately succeed.
What you should know: This is director Sarah Kerruish’s first full-length documentary since 1996.
Opens in: Select cities


Charlie Says



Stars: Matt Smith, Hannah Murray, Suki Waterhouse, Sosie Bacon
Writer: Guinevere Turner
Director: Mary Harron
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
Plot: Three young women were sentenced to death in the infamous Manson murder case, but when the death penalty was lifted, their sentence became life imprisonment. One young graduate student was sent in to teach them - and through her we witness their transformations as they face the reality of their horrific crimes.
What you should know: Based on the book by Karlene Faith and Ed Sanders.
Opens in: Select cities


Origin Story



Director: Kulap Vilaysack
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: When Kulap Vilaysack was 14, she took her father's side in an argument and her mother replied, 'Why are you defending him? He's not your real dad.' Twenty years later, she's finally ready to explore what that means. A feature-length, international quest - with stops in Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Laos - to meet the biological father she never knew.
What you should know: Director Kulap Vilaysack is married to Comedy Bang! Bang! host Scott Aukerman, who appears in the documentary.
Opens in: LA, and available on Amazon


The Bastard’s Fig Tree



Stars: Karra Elejalde, Pepa Aniorte, Carlos Areces
Writer/Director: Ana Murugarren
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Plot: Near the end of the Spanish Civil War, a soldier becomes hermit caring a very special fig tree.
What you should know: It’s in Spanish, based on the novel by Ramiro Pinilla.
Opens in: Select cities


The Serengeti Rules



Director: Nicolas Brown
Genre: Documentary, Biography
Storyline: Exploring some of the most remote and spectacular places on Earth, five pioneering scientists make surprising discoveries that flip our understanding of nature on its head, and offer new hope for restoring our world.
Opens in: Select cities


The Silence of Others



Director: Robert Bahar, Almudena Carracedo
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: Reveals the epic struggle of victims of Spain's 40-year dictatorship under General Franco, who continue to seek justice to this day. Filmed over six years, the film follows the survivors as they organize the groundbreaking 'Argentine Lawsuit' and fight a state-imposed amnesia of crimes against humanity, and explores a country still divided four decades into democracy.
What you should know: It’s in Spanish.
Opens in: Select cities


Also opening: All is True (Trailer), The Professor and the Madman (Trailer), Wine Country (Trailer), Just Say Goodbye (Trailer), Student of the Year 2 (Trailer), Merata (Trailer)



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What have you been watching lately, ONTD? Seeing anything this weekend?